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Metal and Plastic Patternmaker

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What Does it Take to Be a Metal and Plastic Patternmaker?

Occupation Description Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.

Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Responsibilities

  • Program computerized numerical control machine tools.
  • Read and interpret blueprints or drawings of parts to be cast or patterns to be made, compute dimensions, and plan operational sequences.
  • Select pattern materials such as wood, resin, and fiberglass.
  • Verify conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
  • Clean and finish patterns or templates, using emery cloths, files, scrapers, and power grinders.
  • Create computer models of patterns or parts, using modeling software.

Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Metal and Plastic Patternmakers say are important on the job.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Stencil Maker
  • Pattern Chart Writer
  • Template Maker
  • Patternmaker
  • Extrusion Die Repair Manager

Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 3,400 jobs for Metal and Plastic Patternmaker in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Metal and Plastic Patternmaker. There will be an estimated 300 positions for Metal & Plastic Patternmaker per year.


The states with the most job growth for Metal & Plastic Patternmaker are Florida, Nebraska, and Oregon. Watch out if you plan on working in Minnesota, North Carolina, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker

Metal and Plastic Patternmakers make between $28,890 and $67,250 a year.


Metal and Plastic Patternmakers who work in Kansas, Oregon, or Indiana, make the highest salaries.

How much do Metal and Plastic Patternmakers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $42,390
California $46,870
Colorado $35,030
Florida $43,260
Georgia $44,880
Illinois $52,860
Indiana $50,250
Iowa $53,740
Kansas $59,450
Michigan $48,580
Minnesota $47,830
New York $49,640
North Carolina $35,380
Ohio $45,470
Oregon $63,180
Pennsylvania $47,430
South Carolina $47,620
Tennessee $50,600
Texas $41,190
Wisconsin $47,070

What Tools do Metal and Plastic Patternmakers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Metal and Plastic Patternmakers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Delcam PowerMILL
  • Mastercam

How to Become a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker

Are there Metal and Plastic Patternmakers education requirements?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Metal and Plastic Patternmakers?


The table below shows the approximate number of Metal and Plastic Patternmakers employed by various industries.


Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Metal and Plastic Patternmaker might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Metal and Plastic Patternmaker in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: US Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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